Why is a safe place to sleep not a basic human right? Because capitalism will only let you have a house if you pay for it and not everyone can pay for it. Poems and articles about housing and homelessness.
Bring fire engines
Bring us round from sleep and out to safety
Bring camp beds
Bring phone chargers so we can find our friends and family
And tell them that we made it
On 21 September, the White House published a letter that President Obama had received from six-year-old New Yorker Alex, offering a home to Omran, the Syrian boy whose photo had circulated widely.
Please tell the boy in the ambulance
To come and live at ours
And we will greet him in the street
With flags, balloons and flowers
Beneath that dust I know he must
Be frightened as can be
But when he's washed the bloodstains off
I think he'll look like me
A tale to tell along the track
The corner of a byroad
A box in the paper edged in black
For the dame of Chiswick High Road
With operatic majesty
Her leading man and she
Played out romantic tragedy
In harmony, in key
In January 2016, Conservative MPs voted down a Labour MP's Bill that would require landlords to ensure that homes to rent were fit for human habitation. Yes, really.
How very dare these bloody reds
Propose a law that homes I let
Be fit for folk to lay their heads
They should be glad of what they get
So come and view my latest rental -
Compact, bijou, great location
Fit for nowt but very central
Fit for human habitation
She chose a day to cast away
The gag she wore on words she'd say
The date was booked, twice underlined
The day she set to speak her mind
Since Eighteen Ninety
In all of its finery
Stood Gibbons the furniture sellers
London’s last such attraction
With cash-only transaction
Until plastic caught up with the fellas
They eventually gave in
To modernity’s whim
With a sign saying ‘We accept Visa’
Through bombings and raids
Gibbons still stayed
Hackney’s very own Tower of Pisa
In February 2013, homeless man Daniel Gauntlett died of hypothermia on the doorstep of an empty bungalow in Aylesford, Kent.
Homeless man dies frozen on steps of empty bungalow
Man named Daniel Gauntlett
Headline of Kent local paper
But real death, real tragedy, real outrage
Janine joins an array of other poets in an event to support campaigning against homelessness and to raise money for Crisis.
You will also be able to buy the Poets Versus Homelessness anthology, including some of Janine's poems.
Those who fought it
or those who caused it?
Those who saved sixty-five
or those who cost seventy-two?
Those who did not know the tower was clad in torchwood
or those who chose that cladding because it was cheaper?
Those whose chosen job is to walk into burning buildings to save life
or those whose careers are built on making money by cutting corners?